Pregnancy – Birth – Breastfeeding

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Do you dream of giving your baby a calm and gentle welcome to the world? At Acupuncture Nest we provide the relaxation you need to help you birth your best.

What is Acupuncture Nest all about?
At Acupuncture Nest we understand what is needed to allow a natural, physiological birth to unfold and it is our dream that you will know the wonder of this experience. You will receive relaxing acupuncture treatments and clear, well researched guidance to set you on your journey to your best birth. It is a journey and it takes time, so book to see us early in your pregnancy.

“One of the most important things I have learned about birthing babies is that the process is more of an unfolding marvel than a routine progression of events.” -Tori Kropp R.N., Author of The Joy of Pregnancy

We use acupuncture to foster physiological birth by treating fear, stress and anxiety. This is possible because acupuncture is known to influence the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and its functions. This is so significant because it is the primary system used by the body to regulate hormones, the physiological stress response1 and natural, physiological birth.

Read on to learn more about how Acupuncture Nest can help to make your journey through pregnancy, birth and parenthood a wonderful one.

Is Acupuncture Nest only for pregnant women?
No. Although created specially for pregnant women (and their partners and midwives), Acupuncture Nest is open to everyone. We particularly encourage new mothers to book in for restorative treatments. We treat pain, stress, digestion, low energy etc.

What can I expect from the clinic?
Our cosy clinic is set up comfortably with massage tables and cushions, and treatments are given in a physically distanced group setting. Our practitioners are experienced and AHPRA registered. At $35 our service is a fraction of the cost of private room practices.

Is it safe to use acupuncture during pregnancy, and what can it treat?
In the hands of a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is a safe, drug-free therapy with recognised therapeutic effects in many of the common conditions experienced by pregnant women. These include headaches, insomnia, nausea, sinus congestion, back pain, sciatica,2 restless-leg syndrome and constipation.3

Do you treat morning sickness?
We can certainly treat nausea, but unfortunately we are not an appropriate setting in which to treat morning sickness that includes moderate or severe vomiting. For these symptoms we recommend you seek private treatments.

Can you help me to turn my baby? (32-36 weeks)
In weeks 32-36, acupuncture, moxa and specific postures 4 can be used to prompt your baby to spontaneously turn and settle in a cephalic presentation. The targeted use of moxa (a traditional companion to acupuncture) has been found to result in babies turning 75.4-81% of the time compared to 47.7-49% of the time when moxa was not used.5, 6 Employing these strategies is highly recommended, because having your baby in the most favourable position for birth is a primary consideration in creating a smooth labour experience.

Moxa sticks can be purchased at Acupuncture Nest, and you will receive instructions on how to perform the moxa procedure to best affect at home. Your partner or support person can also come along to learn about using moxa since it can be tricky to manage with your bountiful belly in the way.

What is pre-birth acupuncture? (37-40+ weeks)
One treatment per week from 37 weeks is recommended by renowned nurse/acupuncturist Debra Betts for assisting cervical ripening and for helping expectant mothers to stay calm and rested.7 We recommend this course of treatments, too, and it is known as pre-birth acupuncture. If an induction date approaches or due date passes, similar treatments can be given more frequently to reinforce their effect. (This is referred to as acupuncture-induction.)

How does acupuncture help women after childbirth?
After your baby is born, acupuncture is used to help you recover physically and, if needed, to help you with anxiety or overwhelm, all while improving your energy levels.

How does acupuncture help with breastfeeding?
Initial difficulties with breastfeeding are often associated with medical interventions during childbirth which is why we do all we can to promote natural, physiological birth with acupuncture during your pregnancy.

Low milk supply can occur over time as sleep deprivation runs down your energy reserves. Inhibition of let-down may appear if your stress hormones rise and has the potential to result in infection (mastitis). Acupuncture is used to restore your health, improve your energy and milk production and facilitate let-down (by lowering your stress hormones and regulating the flow of energy through the body and specifically the breasts). In fact, there are actually specific acupuncture points for lactation! Acupuncture is used in conjunction with standard treatments for mastitis.

Acupuncture for Midwives
It takes a village….Midwives care for mothers and babies all hours of the day and night, on occasion getting themselves into less than organic positions to offer a birthing mother support. Sometimes it is the carer who needs a dose of TLC, and at Acupuncture Nest, we are delighted to be offering much needed rest, relaxation and restoration to these remarkable, important individuals.

Making acupuncture affordable
Acupuncture in a group setting is a wonderful way to keep it affordable while still tailoring treatments to each patient’s individual needs. Practitioners must be registered by AHPRA ensuring safe, quality treatments and the room maintains a pleasing sense of calm and community.

COVID-19
Acupuncture Nest is committed to following NSW Health directives to mitigate the risks associated with Covid-19. For the foreseeable future, the practitioner will wear a mask, and patients may choose to wear one, also.

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1 Cho ZH, Hwang SC, Wong EK, et al. Neural substrates, experimental evidences and functional hypothesis of acupuncture mechanisms. Acta Neurol Scand 2006;113:370–7. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0404.2006.00600.x

2 https://holistic-health.org.uk/world-health-organisation-recommends-acupuncture-100-conditions/
3 https://www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org/acupuncture-scientific-evidence/

4 spiningbabies.com.au
5 Cardini F, Weixin H. “Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation”, Journal of the American Medical Association, (1998) 280:1580-1584.
6 Co-operative Research Group on Moxibustion Version . “Clinical observation on the effects of version by moxibustion”. Abstracts from the Second National Symposium on Acupuncture and Moxibustion and Acupuncture Anaesthesia, All China Society of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Beijing, (1984) p150
7 Betts, D. “The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth.” (2006), Chapter 20 Acupuncture as a routine pre-birth treatment, pp139-147

Photo credit: katya_alagich on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

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